We all have to work hard (or at least work in some form or another) to move in the direction we want to move in. Sometimes things fall into our lap – which can be a good thing (if it’s something we want – or even if it’s something we don’t want). We move in a particular direction and in the end, if we work diligently at the structure we are trying to build, all the pieces and all the planning normally falls into place and we generally end up with what we are trying to achieve. (And in truth – not always; however, we learn from what does not happen, darn it all.)
That is what life is about mostly – and school is also life. Just another aspect of it. For those of you who are still looking at Nursing homework or Electrical Circuits or Parallel Offsets, remember that you are building a structure that you want to live within. And all the lessons you learn and the steps you take bring you closer to your goal. Each completed lesson and project and homework assignment is a brick in the new structure you are building for yourself. Enjoy.
Recently, I have been thinking about how lucky I am. I have a marvellous job, a lovely husband, great kids and good friends. My body works the way it is supposed to – more or less; the ground is generally under my feet; the sky is often sunny. Life is good, and I am grateful.
Beyond that, I had the pleasure of attending Leonard Cohen’s concert in Winnipeg this past weekend. What a performance! Mr. Cohen and each and every one of his band members and singers was sublime. At the beginning of the show, Mr. Cohen was kneeling on his prayer bones asking for redemption. The show continued as the performers moved from one pleasure to another. The show was luscious.
Thinking of marvellous events: School is coming to an end for many students. And I expect you are grateful. Take a moment to notice all that is good in your life. Sometimes, it is easy to forget the wonders around us. But if we sit and notice them, it is easy to smile.
I have probably mentioned that I am renovating my house. A lot of work. I also live in that house with my husband and family. Living in the house slows down the process of renovation. I am reminded, at times, by my husband, that the house would be done by now if we had not moved in so soon – my idea. I remind him that all that work keeps us out of trouble.
In the end, it hardly matters. When work needs to be done, it needs to be done. That is part of life. We would sometimes like it to go away, or sometimes wish we hadn’t started this crazy project – whether it is school or calculus or insulating a basement. Even the simple boring things – like washing the dishes or using the flash cards to memorize formulas – need to be done. In the end, it’s just easier (and not so painful) to just do it. Do what needs to be done and it all gets done. Eventually.
As we all know, things change. Seasons change, thank goodness, and so does our time at school. It evolves. Sometimes, towards the end of all that work at school, we can start to feel discouraged. However, as you know, the work needs to be done. So it is important to realize – and I am sure that you do realize this – that you need to just keep on doing what needs to be done until it is done. I expect I have said the same thing in a hundred different ways, but it is the truth.
Presently, my husband & I are renovating our 3-storey brick house downtown. Lots of work. And we take breaks, because it is a lot of work, but in the end, the work needs to be done, so we just keep on going. Like the seasons. All things evolve and change. And generally, all things that need to be done, get done. Take care during exam week. And congratulations on your upcoming success.
Well, I have complained about the weather persistently over the last few posts and in a way, the weather is just like life. It is what it is. I have been meditating which I am sure you know is about being with yourself. And I suppose that sums it up. Being with yourself as you are. Allowing ourselves to be grumpy or sad or happy and not judging any of it. Just like the weather. We are powerless to change the weather. We are powerless to change ourselves. Sometimes we are cranky. It helps to just be kind to ourselves about that. Just as we need to be accepting of weather we cannot change.
All the work, studying and projects you are facing as you finish up your courses is similar to inclement weather. It’s easy to grumble about it and sometimes feel stressed about it, but it is not going to go away. Or change. All that work that needs to be done, is just there. Sitting. Waiting. Just like the weather. My approach to the weather has been to grumble a bit (and sometimes a lot) and then, later… do what I need to do. And of course, that is what you know you need to do. It is perfectly okay to grumble and be frustrated. But in the end, you know you need to sit down with the books & projects and get what needs to be done, done. Either alone or with friends. And in spite of the cloudy snowy weather.
Well, it is still winter in Winnipeg. A little milder – but still winter. There is still a surprising amount of snow. Everyone is pleased that it is melting slowly so we do not have a flood. There are other bright signs, as well. Today, I did not want to wait for the bus which would arrive in 15 – 20 minutes, so I decided to walk several blocks until the bus arrived. The walk was, for a change, easy. Especially, on the sidewalk on the north side of the street. The walk was, in fact, lovely. Only a few discrete patches of ice that I easily avoided. I have found walking this winter a real challenge. However, as in everything, there is an ebb and flow. Things change – constantly.
Which brings us back to school, of course. As in everything, we have difficult and easy patches. We slog through the hard work and then finally, slowly, arrive at a place where the work is understandable and almost easy. Occasionally, you will run into icy difficult patches, but because of your diligence and effort you are able to navigate the territory with much more grace and ease. Keep up the good work – spring is coming.
I had an interesting weekend. A friend of mine wanted the hardwood floors in a couple of rooms in his house stripped and varathaned. He had some friends come in to sand the floors & asked me if I would varathane the floors. (I am an artist & love to paint.) I said sure. I spent 2 1/2 hours on Saturday and another 2 hours on Sunday varathaning his floors. I sometimes think I am still twenty. I got a good piece of information this weekend. I am no longer twenty. My legs are really feeling it.
However, this is simply information. It is like getting a poor mark in a test or a quiz. It lets you know that you need to do more work on the subject at hand. My little project allowed me to see that I need to get back to the gym. The old saying ‘Use it or lose it’ is quite true. And as you know, repeated workouts on the subjects you are struggling with will help you to pass your upcoming tests & exams. By doing your mental workouts, little by little, every day, you will be fit and ready for the final tests.
I grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba. That farm was my parents’ livelihood. Both of my parents, in their individual roles, worked hard to ensure that our family would not only survive but would eventually succeed at whatever we as individuals would choose for our lives. Running a farm takes a lot of time, effort, work (and more work), and most importantly, faith. A belief that this life of hard work will benefit our family. And, in the end, it did.
Having faith in yourself as you work through your various chores – mathematics, physics, electrical circuits, written work, dosage calculations, projects, on and on – helps you to keep on going. And, truly, that is all you need to do. You just need to keep doing the work. Day after day, with, of course, some fun in between. Running around the barnyard with friends, laughing, chasing the dog. Pulling the tails of the cows……, carefully. (They can kick.) Playing hide and seek in the hay loft. Whatever works.
In the end – as you know – it is about doing what needs to be done to get it – whatever “it” is – done. And eventually, you will harvest the rewards.
I notice this morning we have been fortunate to have another thick blanket of snow. I am pleased. That fresh layer of snow is always a beautiful sight. And a reminder that it must be relatively mild outside. Many Manitoba residents are weather experts. Especially those who live in the country and are dependent on the idiosyncrasies of the weather for their livelihood.
We all eventually become experts in areas that matter to us. Anyone who has studiously played a difficult video game for hours in order to finally master that game is eventually an expert in that game. Once we become expert on an issue, there often seems to be little else to learn. In school, we are in the process of learning our course material. In the particular areas that matter to us, we may become experts. However, this expertise evolves over time as the result of hard work and persistence. Becoming proficient in any area requires a dogged willingness to struggle with the subject matter in order to learn all the idiosyncrasies of that material.
This expertise comes to all those who are willing to pursue it. It is just a matter of doing the work. Sometimes the bigger picture seems overwhelming. The persistent layers of snow – however beautiful and intriguing – seem to present an endless task. The studying and projects mount up. And we just keep digging through it. And in the end, we receive our reward. Clear pavement, or academic success. Both are possible.
Normally, I am pretty happy to reach February because I know March – my favourite month – is just around the corner. However, this year…. I am weary of the cold & struggling down the snowy sidewalks to get to the bus. A little grumpy because of this ongoing winter – which is really not so unexpected in Manitoba in February.
And I know that many of you are in the midst of working on big and small projects. Trudging through the work that needs to be done to finish this year of school in flying colours. You are also preparing for upcoming and ongoing tests and the eventual final exams which seem to come too soon. Sometimes we need to see – and I know this is a tad annoying to hear – the good stuff that is happening in our lives. As I type this, I am listening to Bob Marley. Perfect. And somehow, I am in Jamaica enjoying this man’s marvellous energy and voice. Find a little break each day from the work. Remember. ‘Every little thing is going to be all right.’